Bilderberger plots?

I think the Speaker was right yesterday to allow a question in Parliament about what had happened at the week-end Bilderberg group. It gave Parliament the chance to explain why MPs do not see the Group as some rival power centre or government in secret. The pity was that Ken Clarke  did not deal comprehensively with what did get discussed at the Group, leaving it to Ed Balls to remind us of the agenda of the meeting which is published.

I do not myself hold the Bilderberg group responsible for the EU controls  placed on the UK. All those have been placed there by the UK Parliament following open debate. The chains of the Treaty of Rome were  originally approved by the electors in a referendum. Doubtless many of the people who go to Bilderberg are pro EU types, as it appears  Bilderberg does not invite and welcome vocal sceptics of the EU project. As a private organisation they do not have to balance their discussions.

Ministers who attend such meetings should have to explain what they said and why they went if MPs want to know. I am glad the Speaker allowed that to happen.

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85 Comments

  1. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted June 11, 2013 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Did this “private organisation” pay the bill for the extensive policing of their annual event? If not why not? How does the idea of cabinet ministers and other leading politicians attending a meeting of a “private organisation”, whose deliberations are not published, square with the need for greater transparency and control over political lobbying? Why should MPs be able to hide behind Chatham House rules as an excuse for not reporting what was said at such meetings? I thought that rule just protected the anonymity of the speakers. Why are ministers invited if not to be influenced? Surely they have better things to do with their time than waste it at such a non-event as that described by your colleague Clarke yesterday?

    • Jerry
      Posted June 11, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      @Brian Tomkinson: Did the protesters, who actually caused the need for this extra policing? Perhaps fox hunts and the like should have to pay for policing the anti-hunt protesters – careful of what you suggest…

      • Dave
        Posted June 11, 2013 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps if these powerful and influential people who have so much control over our lives were more open about the content of these meetings there wouldn’t be so many protesters to require so much policing…

        • Jerry
          Posted June 11, 2013 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

          @Dave: Or perhaps some of us Plebs just need to find a clue (or stop playing with someone else’s computer), around ever corner and through every door that they are not allowed look there MUST be a conspiracy…

          • Dave
            Posted June 12, 2013 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

            I know that you have a response for everything Jerry, but that is the worse you’ve made yet. p.s. I’m not a conspiracy theorist…

          • Dave
            Posted June 13, 2013 at 10:39 am | Permalink

            It’s nothing to do with conspiracy theories, it’s about the people who have so much control over our lives (so much so that we can be jailed for not following their orders) being open about their discussions with powerful people with vested interests. An agenda list is not enough. How about the minutes being published? If they’ve got nothing to hide then they’ve got nothing to fear…

          • Jerry
            Posted June 13, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

            @Dave: If there is nothing to worry about why are you fretting about what these people talked about?!

          • zorro
            Posted June 14, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

            @Jerry – How do you know there is nothing to worry about? We don’t know what these powerful people are discussing. In any case, Dave said THEY which refers to those in the meeting…..

            zorro

    • Hope
      Posted June 11, 2013 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      There are too many politicians attending for there not to be lobbying of political leaders, as such, it should be strictly controlled and any conflict of interest with large companies paying or not tax should also be disclosed.

      Cameron in the last few days reiterates his stance for the UK to stay in the EU at the same time when another alleged legal challenge is made by the UK against the EU for another grab on the financial industry. It is starting to appear the EU is doing its best to bring the UK to its financial knees to bring it under control. Financial transaction tax, now short selling, no need to bring expensive legal challenges, just leave the expensive EU and save about £18 billion each year plus reducing the burden of regulation on industry and increasing the UK competitiveness in the world. Europhiles have a wide choice for emigration to the Eurozone.

  2. Mike Stallard
    Posted June 11, 2013 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    It is always disappointing when you aren’t asked to the party……..

  3. lifelogic
    Posted June 11, 2013 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    The group is surely quite useful. If we can just obtain a list of the people attending/supporting the group then we at least know who needs to be kept well away from any of any of the levers of power. Just a shame Cameron clearly has a very similar agenda to that of the group. Why else would he have Ken Clark and the rest of this type around government? Why would he have appointed Lord Patten to the appallingly pro EU, anti democratic, fake green, pro an ever bigger state and over regulation of everything and vastly over remunerated to boot BBC? Or indeed to anything.

    Is a change of direction or a deal with UKIP ever going to happen or is he just going to take the ship down with him in 2015 just as John Major did for several terms? Will Cameron be appearing on the BBC in ten years as a BBC expert/sage (perhaps with Tim Yeo and Chris Huhne). Just as Major and Clark do now, after their abysmal and dishonest periods in office and after all their policies have proved to be so misguided as everyone sensible knew at the time.

    • Bazman
      Posted June 11, 2013 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

      A sensible point at last. A big problem for many is dying and as lidelogic points out will todays politicians be all wise in the future in todays health league tables, a good measure of lots of thing I think. Tax cuts for the dead? Speeding up inheritance for the poor? This table reveals the areas with the biggest health problems, the same places that are getting the biggest cuts from this government. When Jeremy Hunt recently handed out public health funding, he gave the biggest cheques to some of the wealthiest areas but asked areas where health is poorest to make do with a fraction of the amount.
      In some areas such as Wigan and Leigh, people live on average eight years less than well-off Kensington. But that didn’t stop Jeremy Hunt giving Kensington £133 per person and Wigan £73.How can we close the gap when we get £60 less per person?The truth is the Government are doing nothing to tackle the big causes smoking and alcohol abuse. Plain fag packet being a very good example.
      Ministers dropped their plans to introduce standardised tobacco packs and have nothing to say on addressing binge drinking.
      They’re too close to the big businesses to make the right decisions.
      Under the last Labour Government, deprived inner city areas saw people’s life expectancy rise and stroke and heart disease deaths fell by a half.
      But now the gap between those in the wealthiest areas and people in more deprived parts of the country is growing.
      On David Cameron’s watch, there’s a widening postcode lottery when it comes to people’s health and, as ever with the Tories, it’s the poorest areas that are being hit hardest. We are all dead at some point? Is this what we are in together? Ram it.

      Reply The NHS, the local government grant system and the welfare system all make large transfers of money from the richer to the poorer districts of the UK.

    • Hope
      Posted June 11, 2013 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      I note HBOS has had his title taken away because of the huge financial loss it caused the country. When does this apply to Major and the huge financial loss he caused to the UK by trying to join the ERM? It also caused loss of jobs, homes and destitution. The same effect the Euro is having across Europe. It was recently seen from the report by the IMF how the EU were prepared to sacrifice Greece for the Euro. Now questions need to be asked of Cameron and Osborne what did the UK contribute directly or indirectly when Osborne stated the UK would not be involved. And why was the UK prepared to stand by and let it happen? This is not in our national interest, despite claims by Cameron to the contrary.

    • Jerry
      Posted June 12, 2013 at 6:24 am | Permalink

      @Lifelogic: I don’t think Major is ‘billed’ as an expert by the BBC, and I’m sure that Major accepts that he made mistakes, also you seem to be forgetting that Major not only won his personal election contest but also that of his party in 1992 – only being let down by certain members of his government/ parliamentary party in 1997, so much so that a wet paper bag could have stood against many a Tory and won. As for Clarke, he is ‘billed’ as a serving cabinet member – and he is not the first and nor will he be the last to be “without Portfolio”.

      Oh and it is not just the BBC who do as you suggest, perhaps if Commercial/Subscription news channels stopped then the BBC would stop trying to copy (this populist trend)?

  4. a-tracy
    Posted June 11, 2013 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    I can’t understand why the powerful, rich and influential meet up once a year and get a private audience with top politicians ;-/. I’d love to be a fly on the wall ;-).

    • Bob
      Posted June 11, 2013 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      @a-tracy
      “I can’t understand why the powerful, rich and influential meet up once a year and get a private audience with top politicians”

      If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it’s probably a duck.

      • Jerry
        Posted June 12, 2013 at 6:31 am | Permalink

        @Bob: Whilst much the same can be said about conspiracy theorists who hide behind political cloaks of respectability, if it quacks, waddles and has a beak like a Duck…

        If there was any truth to what the conspiracy theorists say these people would not meet up in blaze of publicity, nor publish their agenda.

        • Bob
          Posted June 13, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

          @Jerry
          “If there was any truth to what the conspiracy theorists say these people would not meet up in blaze of publicity, nor publish their agenda.”

          You don’t think that the “blaze of publicity” was their choice do you? they were exposed by “conspiracy theorists”.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 14, 2013 at 8:15 am | Permalink

            @Bob: If these people are so powerful, that they can control governments, if they wanted to keep these meeting private they would – the conspiracy theorists have formed their opinions because they were allowed to know, not because they didn’t know!

  5. Mike Wilson
    Posted June 11, 2013 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    ‘As a private organisation, they do not have to balance their discussions’.

    Fair enough. As a private organisation whose motives are questioned by others, they should pay for their own security.

    • APL
      Posted June 11, 2013 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      Mike Wilson: “they should pay for their own security.”

      Bingo!

      • Jerry
        Posted June 11, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

        @APL: Just so long as the protesters do likewise, after all without such “hot-heads”, “rent-a-rants” and general anti-democrats there would be no need for such policing!

        • APL
          Posted June 11, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

          Jerry: “Just so long as the protesters do likewise ”

          Bildbergers can go and meet in Saudi Arabia so far as I am concerned. They chose to hold their private conference in this country.
          Now lets see how much it cost to ‘protect’ them and bill Mr Clarke. – he seems to be the top wallah, just now.

          In this day and age, what’s wrong with a teleconference?

          • Jerry
            Posted June 11, 2013 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

            APL: Whilst the Plebs can meet in the pub, they can choose to have a booze weekend in Benidorm, your point being what – exactly?

          • Suchan104
            Posted June 11, 2013 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

            APL, if you and some work colleagues decide to hold a conference at, say a local hotel or conference centre, are you expected to pay for the local police to keep law and order in that particular neighbourhood?

          • APL
            Posted June 14, 2013 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

            Suchan104: “if you and some work colleagues decide to hold a conference at, say a local hotel or conference centre, ”
            On numerous occasions, I have stayed at hotels, often in the company of one or more work colleagues. I never once felt the need to ask the local police to cordon off streets or erect barriers to other citizens going about their lawful business.

        • Bazman
          Posted June 11, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

          Maybe criminals could pay for their own policing by this stupid argument?

          • Mike Wilson
            Posted June 11, 2013 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

            @Bazman ‘Maybe criminals could pay for their own policing by this stupid argument’.

            Sounds like a pretty sensible argument to me. ‘You have been convicted of burglary and will be sent to prison for 2 years. It has cost us – society – 25 thousand pounds in police and criminal justice system costs – which will be confiscated from you.’ I have to say it would make real criminals think long and hard about committing more offences.

            But, as to the costs of policing the Bilderberger meeting. Why were the organisers so convinced that people were going to cause trouble? What did the organisers think the protesters were going to protest about? Secret meetings between the most powerful politicians and business people are an affront to democracy. If there is some merit to having such meetings – in terms of long term planning of managing the economy etc. – those meetings should be public – like political party conferences.

          • APL
            Posted June 12, 2013 at 6:53 am | Permalink

            Bazman: “could pay for their own policing by ”

            There speaks a socialist. There is a good chance that some criminals, those that don’t operate completely outside the system have paid some tax – god knows it’s difficult enough to avoid paying tax these days.

            Tax is used to pay for lots of things, Policing for one.

            QED, criminals do pay for their own policing.

            But even those who manage to avoid paying tax completely, and assuming our relaxed police force gets around to catching them, then there is already established in law the principle of civil forfeiture.

            Since you’re always whinging about rich folk not paying enough tax, I’d have thought you’d be up for these rich folk paying their share of tax, no?

        • zorro
          Posted June 11, 2013 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

          Jerry, do you really believe that? The amount of security is ridiculous. The police admitted that there was no intelligence about a security threat, ans there was a massive security ring so no-one could get near anyway………The police had been preparing for this for 18 months.

          But what’s is the point of this shindig? The ‘Bilderberg Association’ is apparently a ‘charitable association’ and Ken Clarke is a trustee (though he sometimes forgets that detail)……Why does it benefit from charitable status? Don’t the participants have enough money to pay for their private club or are they short of cash?

          There were ‘No Trespassing’ signs around parts of Watford…….The outer security ring had the following sign up……’“G4S and the Police consider any person who crosses this line to be intent on disrupting, obstructing or intimidating others from going about their lawful business… By Order Chief Inspector Caveney, Hertfordshire Constabulary, June 3, 2013″

          Good to see G4S in first place……

          zorro

          • zorro
            Posted June 11, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10102168/Bilderberg-Group-No-conspiracy-just-the-most-influential-group-in-the-world.html

            As you can see, just a private club of no real importance in forming opinion…..LOL

            zorro

          • Bazman
            Posted June 12, 2013 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

            You would think Ken had, after a few beers in the pub agreed to be a committee member of the local allotment association, and the next day promptly forgot this.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 12, 2013 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

            @zorro: I’m really not sure if you are getting confused with this Bilderberg “knees up” and the up-coming G8, if the two are not linked anyway – both seem to arouse the same sort of protesters, if not the same protesters…

            But as for your question, yes I do, without protesters there would be little or no need for policing.

    • A different Simon
      Posted June 11, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      Mike Wilson ,

      Worrying about whether Bilderberg are paying for the policing is a distraction .

      I’d suggest instead focusing on the private company Bilderberg have payed to do the security there .

      Said company seems to be getting integrated further and further into operations of the UK and European state machines .

      • zorro
        Posted June 11, 2013 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

        You are talking of that company of Olympian fame…..G4S

        zorro

    • Suchan104
      Posted June 11, 2013 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

      I believe the Bilderberg Group paid for the high security at their venue and, in recognition of the status of many of the participants, made a contribution to the local policing. I think that is as much as should be expected from a private gathering. Any further enforcement of law and order is a matter for the taxpayer-funded police, as it is everywhere else in the United Kingdom.

  6. Acorn
    Posted June 11, 2013 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Have a read of NYT today: “Financialization’ as a Cause of Economic Malaise
    By BRUCE BARTLETT. (Google it, the attrition rate of my posts lately is high enough, n’mind putting in links.)

    Adair Turner, formerly Britain’s top financial regulator, has said, “There is no clear evidence that the growth in the scale and complexity of the financial system in the rich developed world over the last 20 to 30 years has driven increased growth or stability.”

    There is a new enlightenment emerging post the great recession. “… the Bank for International Settlements [said], the impact of finance on economic growth is very positive in the early stages of development. But beyond a certain point it becomes negative, because the financial sector competes with other sectors for scarce resources.

    Those comments are based on US experience. The current problem in the UK is much bigger. “Financialization” of our economy, has and continues to be, much greater than the US. Hence the income inequality, particularly hitting the economically essential middle class consumers, has reduced aggregate demand. When the private sector stops spending, and consequently, stops investing, the government sector has to step up spending to keep the productive base of the economy from imploding.

    Now, if only I could find 326 politicians that understood that.

    • Acorn
      Posted June 11, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      P.S. Thanks for publishing my last two posts JR. But there is something I / we, needs to know. Are you a welded to “Austerian” economics, as currently practiced by the coalition?

      (Austerians vs. Keynesians: Austerians (some of whom subscribe to Austrian economics) believe that cutting public spending (austerity) will cure a depression, while Keynesians believe that more public spending will do the trick. In other words, Austerians believe the cure is the hair of the dog that bit you, while Keynesians say that when the problem is unemployment and too little spending, the government should spend and hire.) Hat Tip: zFacts

      I say that because it is becoming obvious to next door’s dog that austerity is a busted flush. Additionally, monetary policy is no where near as effective as fiscal policy in a debt ridden (de-leveraging) economy like what we got, we need to increase aggregate demand now if not sooner. There is an opportunity for a MP with a brain, to lead us out of this mess. Am I making myself clear?

      Yesterday in Parliament the ‘hang ’em and flog ’em’ brigade on the back benches may have pleased the Daily Mail readers; but, I for one would not trust them to run the country. There are some cool heads back there and one who would make a good PM with you in the Treasury.

      Christ sakes JR, you have been there done that and made your money. You have got nothing to lose; but, a lot to win for me, fellow Redwoodians and 63 million others.

      • Jerry
        Posted June 12, 2013 at 6:40 am | Permalink

        @Acorn: Are you arguing for traditional Keynesians policies, in place of the current (failed) “austerity”?

        I guess we will all have to wait, no doubt with baited breaths, to see what the new BoE governor is going to do…

  7. oldtimer
    Posted June 11, 2013 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    For once I watched a recording of the original question, answer and the ensuing debate. I think there is benefit in people with different views from different countries discussing issues of the day. Ken Clarke argued that this variety makes a conspiracy impossible. It does not, however, exclude the possibility of group think developing among this extremely influential gathering – especially if they all come from a Western culture. This can be powerful enough to have a profound influence on the evolution of laws and regulations if a substantial majority of them reach the same conclusion. The CAGW hypothesis and all it has caused comes to mind – assuming it has been on the agenda in past years.

  8. Crazed Weevil
    Posted June 11, 2013 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    I don’t worry overly much about the Bilderberg Group as nearly all the people attending couldn’t run a bath let alone a world wide government / conspiracy. Of course that doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t try to create / run such a thing, it’s just that it wouldn’t work very well or at all.

    They should still be viewed with suspicion though…they are mostly politicians and lobbyists after all. And I always remember this quote from Adam Smith when politicians meet:

    ‘People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public…’

    • Jerry
      Posted June 12, 2013 at 6:49 am | Permalink

      @Crazed Weevil: …and you could, run a bat… sorry, run a country, if so why not stand for election – oh, what’s that, you did, but didn’t get elected, ho-hum…

      As for politicians and lobbyists, well that’s the next TUC, CBI and party conference seasons cancelled, never mind the branch/local meetings, perhaps even more so!

      • Crazed Weevil
        Posted June 13, 2013 at 8:01 am | Permalink

        You seem to be a confused individual who likes to add extra assumptions to a persons opinion…very strange…not to mention that you also seem to have decided that I would ban political meetings. This is good to know…otherwise I would have just let them meet unmolested and just view them with suspicion…you know, just like I have been. But hey, if you want to ban them all…I guess my opinion has been decided for me.

  9. John Wrake
    Posted June 11, 2013 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    E.U. constraints on this country were certainly accepted by the majority of the electorate in the retrospective referendum of 1975, but that was on the back of Edward Heath’s lie about no loss of sovereignty and the heavily weighted campaign to stay in. The fact is, that we don’t know about any Bilderberg involvement because Bilderberg activity and influence is secret.

    The existence of a group comprising politicians, bankers, media moguls, internationalists, leaders of big business, meeting regularly behind close security, always in secret should be of concern to all of us. When the question of checks on email traffic is raised, we are assured that if we have nothing to hide, we have nothing to fear. When problems arise over lobbyists and their activity, undercover operations by the press are commended for uncovering sleaze.

    The Bilderberg are clearly the acme of lobbyists, for why else would they meet? If they have nothing to hide, they have nothing to fear from the so-called transparency which is all the rage.

    Publishing an agenda is the ultimate cosmetic. (nasty examples of people with agendas left out-ed) It is the decisions, not the agendas, which mark wickedness on the grand scale.

    John Wrake

    Reply Harold Wilson was PM in 1975, not Mr Heath. He set out the position in a government publication.There was a No campaign to set the record straight.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted June 11, 2013 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

      Wilson was PM in 1975 but that doesn’t negate the comment that Heath, and many other MPs, deliberately lied about the loss of sovereignty. Another bunch of MPs is still trying to deceive the electorate, most notably your leader.

      Reply I do not recollect Mr Heath saying there would be no loss of sovereignty, when it was very clear there would be. Perhaps you can supply the quotes to back up your case. I have re read Mr Heath’s Commons speeches whcih do not make this claim.

      • Brian Tomkinson
        Posted June 11, 2013 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

        The following is just a brief extract from the Bruges Group dated 4th October 2001:
        ‘An oft-quoted line from Mr Heath’s White Paper circulated to every household in the country in June 1971 promised,
        “there is no question of Britain losing essential sovereignty”.

        In a television broadcast to mark Britain’s entry in January 1973, Heath said:
        “there are some in this country who fear that in going into Europe we shall in some way sacrifice independence and sovereignty. These fears, I need hardly say, are completely unjustified”.’

        http://www.brugesgroup.com/mediacentre/?article=91#heath

        Please don’t dismiss this, as on the same website I found:
        ‘The Rt. Hon. John Redwood MP, states that,
        “The Bruges Group has a vital role to play in setting out the case for a common market rather than a common government in Western Europe. The Bruges Group has built on the original Bruges speech of Margaret Thatcher and has set out many important points in the debate about the way Europe is careering towards a superstate and the way in which Britain needs a different and better relationship with our European partners.” ‘

        • Jerry
          Posted June 12, 2013 at 7:01 am | Permalink

          @Brian Tomkinson: You are attacking the wrong fail guy, what the UK joined in 1973 was something quite different to what we have in today, your questions would be better directed as to why Mrs Thatcher signed the Single European Act and why she ‘lied’, after all it was SEA that paved the way for the Maastricht Treaty, the Euro and beyond. I know she didn’t like the Maastricht Treaty, her No! No! No! speech but by then she had already let the cat out of the bag…

          Mr Heath might have been wrong, he did not lie as the Treaty he signed (as enacted at the time) still allowed for much independence and sovereignty (in the same way as NAFTA does) and the UK could have left the EEC with greater ease than we could leave today in an orderly fashion.

          Reply Mrs T did not lie about the SEA. She explained it to Parliament and the public and thought it a good idea to promote more trade. I advised her against it but was on that issue unsuccessful.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 12, 2013 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

            @JR reply: Sorry, perhaps I wasn’t clear, I didn’t meant to imply she did lie, no more than Heath did either, they both stated the the facts as they were at the time, the rest was either wisdom or is now hindsight.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 11, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

        This has been going the rounds for fifteen years to my knowledge:

        “There is no question of eroding any national sovereignty; there is no blueprint for a federal Europe. There are some in this country who fear that in going into Europe, we shall in some way sacrifice independence and sovereignty. These fears I need hardly say are completely unjustified.”

        It is attributed to Heath in 1972, but if you haven’t found anything like that in his Commons speeches then maybe he said it elsewhere.

        Not at a Bilderberger meeting, of course, because a) it would have been kept secret and b) he would have had no need to dissemble at such a meeting; maybe it was a speech at a Tory party conference?

        I have in the past provoked furious reactions by saying that in a way I agree with what he (supposedly) said.

        Because from my perspective our national sovereignty has not been eroded, so far; on the contrary, it is still intact and undiminished; but thanks to our politicians it is not being exercised as it could be and should be.

        • zorro
          Posted June 11, 2013 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

          The Treaty of Rome speaks of ‘ever closer union’…….Heath was clearly dissembling, the treaty itself is a clear blueprint.

          zorro

      • Mark B
        Posted June 11, 2013 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

        Whether Edward Heath said those words in Parliament or elsewhere is unimportant. The fact that he gave away powers that were NOT his to give, is !

        As for all these secret organizations, who cares ? The Bilderbergers’ are not the first secret group in history and they won’t be the last. It along with many other such things is just they way in which human nature works.

        Whilst we are all looking at these people, the REAL movers and shakers can operate undetected.

        • Jerry
          Posted June 12, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

          @Mark B: By that logic 99% of what government does they should not, nor is the UK legitimate state as no government should be able to have created the “Union” (between the four nations).

          • Mark B
            Posted June 12, 2013 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

            @Jerry
            He had no right to sign a treaty that committed the UK to ever closer political union. If you do not quite understand the significance of that, then I am afraid any further conversations on the matter would be lost on you.

            As for the UK. England and Scotland already had a shared head of state when King James VI of Scotland became King in England ascended to the throne upon Elizabeth I death. This he did so by right. I do not ever remember being ask about President Van Rompoy (sp) being my future head of state.

            As for the unification of the two parliaments, well we could argue about that for some time.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 13, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

            Mark B: Go find out something about how democracy and elected governments work, by your logic Churchill should not have signed the UK up to the UN (or the 1950s ECHR), as for King James, again by your logic he had no right to form the Union – regardless of shared Kings or Queens etc.

      • matthu
        Posted June 11, 2013 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

        This account seems to support the case that Heath concealed the truth about loss of sovereignty from the public:

        In 1971, during the final stages of the negotiations for Britain’s entry into what was then termed the “Common Market”, the “anti-marketeers” – as they were then called – had made some impact with the claim that membership would involve an unacceptable loss of sovereignty.

        This claim clearly had a significant impact on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, sufficient at least for anonymous civil servants to write a detailed briefing on the sovereignty issue. This confidential document was never published and, for the last thirty years has lain in an FCO file, guarded by official secrecy. Only under the thirty year rule was it finally released and its contents laid bare.

        The document is massively important for many reasons, not least because it demonstrates that the FCO had a very clear idea of the repercussions of joining the “Community”, as it put it. It knew that it would involve a major loss of sovereignty and, in due course, an end to parliamentary democracy. Despite knowing this, it offered the advice that HMG and “all political parties” should not “exacerbate public concern by attributing unpopular measures or unfavourable economic developments to the remote and unmanageable workings of the Community”.

        Entitled “Sovereignty and the European Communities”, had this document been published during the debate which led up to Britain joining the EEC, it is hard to believe that public opinion would have been unaffected. In fact, so great would probably have been the outrage that it is hardly likely that any political party could have sanctioned our entry. It is a measure of the deceit perpetrated by the then government, therefore, that its findings were kept confidential.

        The full letter is also reported.

    • John Wrake
      Posted June 11, 2013 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      I was not asserting that Edward Heath was P.M. in 1975 at the time of the referendum. I WAS asserting that the electorate which voted in 1975 had been assured in 1972 by the then P.M., Edward Heath, that membership of the E.U. did not entail loss of sovereignty – a blatant untruth which I heard him broadcast.

      I am also asserting that the referendum in 1975 enjoyed considerable financial support for a yes vote from the then government, using a form of question likely to return a positive answer.

      These points aside, it was the Bilderberg Group which was the main point of the posting and its underhand influence is as unknown now as it was then.

      John Wrake

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 11, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

      And here is a facsimile of the official government pamphlet, displaying his honest face and bearing his signature:

      http://www.th-eu-nit.com/downloads/newdeal.pdf

      “BRITAIN’S NEW DEAL IN EUROPE

      ‘Her Majesty’s Government have decided to recommend to the British people to vote for staying in the Community’

      HAROLD WILSON, PRIME MINISTER”

      A new deal, supposedly extracted through “long, hard negotiations”.

      And although:

      “We do not pretend, and never have pretended, that we got everything we wanted in these negotiations.”

      – as if he would ever pretend about anything! –

      “But we did get big and significant improvements on the previous terms.”

      Improvements which were actually so small and insignificant that they didn’t need even a single treaty change.

      And there was no need for anyone to worry about Parliament losing its power, because:

      “The Minister representing Britain can veto any proposal for a new law or a new tax if he considers it to be against British interests.”

      Which was not entirely true then, and is rarely true now.

      • Brian Tomkinson
        Posted June 11, 2013 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

        Denis,
        In the unlikely event that Cameron is PM after 2015, he will be grateful for these quotes which he will use in the 2017 referendum after his much talked about, but unspecified, re-negotiations. All he need do is change the name from Harold Wilson to David Cameron. I would bet money that he would have the support of the majority of his Conservative MPs in recommending the British people to vote for staying in the EU.

  10. Sean O'Hare
    Posted June 11, 2013 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    HR wrote “Bilderberg does not invite and welcome vocal sceptics of the EU project.”

    Hence Cameron’s earlier claims to be a Eurosceptic were downright (what’s the word?). And we note that immediately after the pep-talk he was obviously given in Watford he returns and announces that we must stay in the EU.

    • Sean O'Hare
      Posted June 11, 2013 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      Sorry that should have been “JR wrote”

    • A different Simon
      Posted June 11, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

      Whether the UK stays in the EU will be decided by such people as attend Bilderberg and the like .

      The idea that a referendum of plebs will decide anything important is preposterous .

      If such a referendum delivered the wrong result the votes would be miscounted , miscollated , misreported or declared null and void .

      Bilderberg must worry whether with Mr Cameron and retaining EU membership they have appointed a boy to do a mans job .

  11. A different Simon
    Posted June 11, 2013 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    John ,

    The problem that we’ve all got (MP’s , MEP’s and the rest of us out here in voter land) is that it is not at all apparent that policy is determined by the individuals we elect .

    Essentially what is purportedly “democracy” has a very damaging credibility problem which amongst other things manifests itself in ever lower turn-outs .

    As Ken Livingstone said “if voting changed anything they wouldn’t allow it” .

    Tony Blair was not a good parliamentarian and the parliamentary majority , proportion of lobby fodder and weak/acquiescent opposition meant he was able to treat Parliament with contempt which he duly proceeded to do .

    The executive rode rough shod over parliament and it’s clear for all to see what and who Tony Blair’s (and Peter Mandelson’s) idea of the executive is .

    Then we have Margaret Hodge saying that the Whitehall Mafia do as they please ; essentially technocracy and government by civil servant .

    The only person who has been honest about their disdain for democracy and believe that it is irrelevant is Mr Mandelson when he momentarily dropped his guard to usher in the post-democratic age .

  12. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 11, 2013 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Powerful people from around the world are invited to meet for private discussions.

    This goes on for half a century with every effort being made to keep the very existence of the meetings as secret as possible.

    Then when it is clearly no longer possible to conceal the existence of the meetings, there is a public admission that they have been taking place and that they continue to take place, and gradually some information is released about their venues and their participants and supposedly about the topics to be discussed, in general terms, but still no outsiders are permitted to be present and the discussions remain secret.

    And if anybody feels that there may perhaps be something a little bit sinister about this way of proceeding, they are depicted as mad disciples of madmen, eg:

    http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2013/06/ken-clarke-keeps-bilderberg-secrets-close-to-his-reptilian-chest/

    Well, although I may not agree with everything that Adam Smith wrote I would certainly not dismiss him as having been mad, and with rather minor modifications this seems to apply rather well to the Bilderberger meetings and to many other meetings that take place out of the public eye, including those within the EU:

    http://www.adamsmith.org/quotes

    “People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices … But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies, much less to render them necessary.”

  13. Gary
    Posted June 11, 2013 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    They keep insisting that the talks held at the Bilderberg conference are innocuous. If they are so innocuous, and especially since our public elected leaders are there, then publish the minutes. The people are getting sick and tired of public servants surveilling us, congregating in secret and then patronizing us with glib dismissals. Who the hell do they think they are ? At some point the people will wake them up, if they are lucky, as they have periodically done throughout history.

    • APL
      Posted June 11, 2013 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      Gary: “The people are getting sick and tired of public servants surveilling us, congregating in secret and then patronizing us with glib dismissals.”

      Yes, if it were the man on the London Omnibus, the odious and smug Ken Clarke – he of the Bilderberg luminaries – would be saying, ‘if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear’.

      Suddenly, Bilderberg conferences are private and confidential . Well Kenny, if you have nothing to hide, publish the minutes of the meetings.

  14. forthurst
    Posted June 11, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    I assume that Bilderberg relates to the governance of the UK, otherwise why has the taxpayer funded its police cordon? Surely not to protect the public gaze from the metamorphoses of shape-shifting lizards, but one never knows?

    JR believes the provenance of legislation is immaterial because it always has to be placed before Parliament for scrutiny and assent. I believe it would be better for Parliament to be originating its own bills or, if not, be fully aware as their provenance, going right back their wellsprings. When legislation suddenly appears e.g. gay ‘marriage’ or for wars of choice in the ME, it would be better to know where it came from and which constituency did it really serve. There has been far too much legislation put before parliament which had and continues to have malign consequences for the English people in their own country.

  15. Iain Gill
    Posted June 11, 2013 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    The more I see of private meetings taking place between senior politicians and lobby groups and wealthy individuals the more I think “Chatham house rules” should be abolished. I am aware in my own sphere of work of several prominant people who spout stuff under “Chatham house rules” which would mean they never got elected again if the poor old British public got to hear about it. I think people should have the honesty to say what they really feel openly. I dont buy any of the arguments against open reporting of what is said.

    Reply Chatham House rules allow the publication of the substance of the proceeedings without attribution to speakers.Bilderberg does not seem to sign up to them.

    • oldtimer
      Posted June 11, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      Although I recall Mr Clarke relying on Chatham House rules to avoid answering a question in yesterdays session.

      Reply Maybe he did not recollect the rules either.

      • zorro
        Posted June 11, 2013 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

        Has he read the Maastricht Treaty yet John?

        zorro

  16. matthu
    Posted June 11, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    John,

    I think it is wrong to suggest that the previous 1975 referendum somehow “approved the chains of the Treaty of Rome”. I think the public were lied to because the chains of the treaty of Rome were deliberately obfuscated.

    Despite Edward Heath having claimed in his election manifesto of 1970 that further European integration would not happen “except with the full-hearted consent of the Parliaments and peoples of the new member countries”, the UK joined the Treaty of Rome in 1972.

    The people had a right ot believe that this did not involve or commit us to further European integration.

    In 1975, the referendum question put to the British people asked: “Do you think that the United Kingdom should remain part of the European Community (the Common Market)?”

    There was no mention made of further integration.

    According to the treasurer of the “Yes” campaign, Alastair McAlpine, “The whole thrust of our campaign was to depict the anti-Marketeers as unreliable people – dangerous people who would lead you down the wrong path … It wasn’t so much that it was sensible to stay in, but that anybody who proposed that we came out was off their rocker or virtually Marxist.”

    And this is still the stance of politicians today: to scare the public about the consequences of leaving the EU.

    Thus, a typical question recently put in a poll was:

    Do you want the UK to remain in the EU and continue to import and export with our neighbours, or to leave?

    the point being that these are not the only options.

    The public are still being lied to.

    Mr Cameron suggest we have a place at the WTO and will lose this place if we leave the EU, while the exact opposite is true: we don’t have a place currently, and we are likely to have a place if we leave the EU.

    • Jerry
      Posted June 11, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      @matthu: “The public are still being lied to.

      What ever the truth was then, back in the mid 1970s, that is not the case now, these days if people want to know they will find out without having someone tell them (what to think), it takes about 30 seconds to open Google or Wikipeadia and find -for example- all one wants or needs to know about the EU, the Lisbon Treaty, even good old UK party politics, if one cares to trawl the web pages of the official bodies such as the EU’s own web portal or those of the Houses of Parliament or Whitehall even more information can be gained and it is thus straight from the horses mouth to boot.

      My point, people either don’t care, don’t agree (with the anti EU side of the argument) or -shock, horror- they actually support our involved and deep membership of the EU, after all many more europhile MPs were elected across the HoC than eurosceptic. That is not to say that there shouldn’t be a referendum, to clear the air, but I get the feeling that for many on the more europhobic side of the argument it will do no such thing unless they get what they think is correct. Cue the sketch from Just William, the ones were Violet Elizabeth Bott (daughter of the local nouveau riche millionaire) threatens to make her self very unwell indeed…

      As for what you claim Alastair McAlpine said, well yes and that is exactly how the “No!” campaign came over at the time [1], either “off their rockers (well at best totally unpredictable) or virtually Marxist”, because that was exactly how most prominent campaigners came over.

      [1] and the Out! campaign is in danger of being judged likewise now

    • uanime5
      Posted June 12, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      Actually the UK has a place at the WTO and is also represented by the EU. SO leaving the EU would leave the UK with less influence at the WTO.

      • Jerry
        Posted June 14, 2013 at 8:24 am | Permalink

        @U5: But the EU doesn’t represent the UK point of view, it represents its own, that is the problem – if anything the UK’s (rightful) voice at the WTO is being diluted by the EU’s (piggy-backed) presence.

  17. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted June 11, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    It is one of those groups similar to the freemasons which thrives being secretive,but the members come and go. What we don’t know doesn’t worry us and what we do know is probably open to all sorts of conspiracy theories. Channel 4 ran a feature on the group and it made me wonder about the links outwards from the meetings. Where do the tentacles of power reach to and would they not also be there despite the meetings?

  18. Atlas
    Posted June 11, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    “Chains” Indeed.

    Don’t forget K. Marx Esq. and his famous quote about chains…

  19. ian wragg
    Posted June 11, 2013 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    John, what do you know about Daniel Korski the PM’s new best friend. Is he a Bilderberger???

    Reply Very little.

    • matthu
      Posted June 11, 2013 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

      Douglas Carswell in his Telegraph blog todays tells us this (and more) about Daniel Korski:

      “A former chief of staff to Paddy Ashdown, ex-adviser to EU High Representative Cathy Ashton, with a stint at the US State Department under his belt, his views seem to sit comfortably with those of the ruling mandarinate.

      “Daniel has, for example, urged Nick Clegg and the pro-Europeans to fight back against the sceptics.”

      That’s really all we need to know about him. And more than we need to know about David Cameron.

      • Jerry
        Posted June 14, 2013 at 8:28 am | Permalink

        @matthu: Why is it that so many eurosceptic and europhobes seem to object when europhiles “fight back”? Seems very undemocratic to my way of thinking, makes them sound as bad as the eurocrats who dislike any opposite opinion…

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 12, 2013 at 6:55 am | Permalink

      You could ask Douglas Carswell:

      http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/douglascarswellmp/100220983/inside-number-10-the-euro-establishment-still-holds-sway/

      “A former chief of staff to Paddy Ashdown, ex-adviser to EU High Representative Cathy Ashton, with a stint at the US State Department under his belt, his views seem to sit comfortably with those of the ruling mandarinate.”

  20. Javelin
    Posted June 11, 2013 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    Yeah right … and they invited Ed Balls.

    Talking of Balls I’m sure this group is highly embarrassed about what a cock up the Wests economies are in.

    Let’s hope that taxation issue in large corporations gets coordinated.

    The biggest problem facing the West is Too much debt and no prospect of growth. We will be fighting to cut costs. I think Stephen Greene at HSBC has got it right saying the West is on a downward slope.

    And as for leaders. Please. The guys at this conference are either corporate execs trying to earn as much as possible then retire, politicians trying not to lose the election with huge public concern over jobs, debts and immigration. Or they are creative liberals asking for more money when there is none.

    When there is money all these guys love to posture and give money away. Now there is not they are either trying to fill their boots and get out (etc ed)

    Conspiracy no. Incompetence yes.

    Not one real leader amongst them.

  21. matthu
    Posted June 11, 2013 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    It is interesting to look at the 2013 attendees and try to fathom why they have either been invited or are attending.

    Ken Clarke was always a puzzle, until you reflect on his EU and Euro and Climate Change credentials. These have always been the big issues of the day. Is it a co-incidence that Cameron returns from a visit to the same meeting and comes back energised as a Europhile?

    One needs to work out: who stands to benefit by maintaining the EU in its current form?
    Who stands to gain by maintaining alarmism about climate change?

    Looking through e.g. the UK attendees and trying to spot how many are not either staunch Europhiles or climate change advocates or both it was hard to spot any.

    One interesting name I did not immediately recognise was David Omand – visiting professor. Then realised he had written a book called “Securing the State”

    Governments recognize the public depends on the certainty, however illusory, that they are safe from terrorism, war, or nuclear attack. They need to believe that the government can protect them from pandemics and climate change. Yet when political institutions fail to balance justice, liberty, privacy, and civic harmony in the pursuit of security, they jeopardize the very trust and confidence they hope to inspire. Drawing on decades of experience as a security analyst and political insider, David Omand argues that while public security is necessary for good government, the erosion of civil liberties, however slight, tips the balance in favor of bad government and, ultimately, creates an insecure state.

    That must have been an interesting talk …

  22. Bazman.
    Posted June 11, 2013 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    Will this website be effected by less than a 100 days to elections John?

  23. Wokingham Mum's
    Posted June 11, 2013 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    Do you think we could invite Cameron, Clegg, Miliband or yourself to ours for tea, biscuits and a little chat and get you all to turn up without us having any money or influence.
    If you all came then conspiracy theory’s would run wild.
    No my friend just said tabloid paper would run wild.

  24. Jon
    Posted June 11, 2013 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    Totally unimpressed with Ken Clarke’s dismissal when questioned on TV the other day. An old empire protagonist. So often proved wrong but won’t trouble that with his dreams. His choice of pubs are reducing, no doubt he would love a 0.57 millilitres of mild called EU Regulated pro EU subsidised eastern European hop substitute on subsidised fuel and Common Agricultural Policy initiative collective consumable substance.

    On a positive note I hope they spent loads of dosh whilst at the Grove, I recommend the food and lovely traditional villages surround it a bit further afield.

    • Jon
      Posted June 11, 2013 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

      570 millilitres or o.57 of a litre I got it wrong. What is also wrong is that we tax the best fermented hops in Europe to import chemical substitutes.

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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